Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘race track’

DO NOT sign the petition that the ODTHA and Colonial Downs is spreading! The “Old Dominion Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association” is Colonial Downs’ made up group that they incorporated to sign a contract with themselves! Colonial Downs has been in the news media lying to the public about their contract dispute with the current horsemen’s group known as the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association or VHBPA. Colonial Downs has been playing the victim in the contract dispute claiming the horsemen won’t sign a contract which shuts down their thoroughbred simulcast operation. Virginia does not allow wagering on horse racing without a significant amount of live race days. Colonial Downs would love to eliminate live racing and only operate off track wagering parlors. Live racing cost them money and cuts into their profits so it’s understandable why a betting parlor operation would not want to fund live racing if they were allowed to accept wagers without it. If there was no live racing, then there would be no racing to bet on and many people lose jobs who are on the racing side of the industry. Colonial Downs is also not telling you that they are very profitable with their online wagering business. They conveniently leave that out of the discussions when they claim to be losing money.

Colonial Downs wanted to sign a contract for 6 days of racing and that was unacceptable to Virginia horsemen. Then Colonial Downs said they were willing to host 17 days of racing with 3 days of stakes races, but would not open the backside for stabling and training. How is that going to work when a lot of their horses come to stable and train from Florida and Maryland? What they are also not telling you is that they want most of the purse money to be designated to the 3 days of racing that does not stay in our local economy. This leaves little money left to spread over the 17 days of racing that most of us rely on.

What people may not realize is that there are many people who breed, raise and train horses to race in Virginia and without a race track, their business is crippled. This trickles down to the farmers who grow oats, hay and straw. The feed stores lose as well because there are less horses to feed. The blacksmith who puts shoes on the horses loses work. The tack shop that supplies bridles, supplements, medications and saddles is losing. The local veterinarians lose clients. The person who makes a living transporting the horses is now out of work. There are so many people involved in the thoroughbred horse racing industry that will be out of work if Colonial Downs fails to keep there promise to the Virginia horsemen.

“The Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (VHBPA) is a non-profit membership organization that represents thoroughbred owners and trainers who race at Colonial Downs. The VHBPA negotiates with the management and ownership of Colonial for race days, dates, and purses, and also provides educational, recreational, health, counseling, and religious programs for back stretch workers.” – http://VHBPA.org     

Read Full Post »

This 4 year old filly has missed four days of training because the ground is simply too hard and dangerous to train on. The recent snow and ice, that has plagued the majority of the United Sates, has interrupted training operations at Crocker Racing. Currently we are training at a farm where we can take advantage of the safer footing and uphill terrain. We train at various speeds and intensities, three to five miles a day. A thoroughbred race horse training on a dirt race track probably wouldn’t hold up to the same training that can be accomplished on natural footing. I have never liked dirt tracks for race horses and believe a dirt track contributes to the majority of breakdowns in North America. Horses training and racing on dirt are limited to the distance and intensity of training they can tolerate without the risking serious injuries. In a perfect world, all horses would be racing and training on grass. Most tracks, unfortunately, are dirt and we must train accordingly. The all weather, synthetic surfaces were designed to simulate the feel and give of turf, reducing racing injuries to horses. Michael Dickinson introduced this synthetic material to thoroughbred racing in hopes to accomplish a safer race track. More on synthetic tracks in another posting. I’ll go into the pros and cons of the Tepta race track.

Crocker Racing Stable Filly 2014

3YO Filly trained by Chris Crocker. Crocker Racing Stable.

This funny filly just can’t contain herself after having 4 days of only turnout. She can gallop and jog in her 1/2 acre paddock, but she feels the need for speed. She loves to train and the day following this video, she was a bear to gallop. She was not fun to ride at all. She was leaping out of her skin. The video was posted on a social media site and while most found it cute, that she was so full of energy and happy, others started creating their own story. One person posted that it was cruel to keep a race horse cooped up in a stall. She obviously didn’t notice the open door to a large paddock and didn’t take a second to read the video description that accompanied the YouTube post. One person even tried to tell us the blanket was bothering her. She has been in this exact same blanket for a month. She was actually reacting to the feed buckets rattling and the blower that we use to clean out the barn. You can post anything online and someone will find something bad to say about it. A basket of kittens can even prompt a negative comment. People who are not involved with horse racing get a lot of misinformation from people who think they know what goes on at race tracks. I have found that these people don’t realize how much these horses are loved and cared for at the track. In any business, there are people who disgrace their industry with unethical acts and practices. Horse racing is not immune to these bad apples. We need to educate the public about the positive sides of racing and I hope to help do that in future postings.

Read Full Post »

This workout was recorded, using the GoPro Hero 3 Helmet Camera, at Colonial Downs on the opening day of training 2013. Trainer Christopher Crocker aboard. This particular horse is a dud on the dirt. This was a very sluggish workout for him. He is much sharper on the turf or tight fast track.

Read Full Post »